"White Christmas" by Irving Berlin, a song of peace and yearning for "the ones we used to know," was released to a war-torn public during the darkest days of World War II. By the end of the War it had become the biggest-selling single of all time. Bing Crosby's recording hit the charts on Oct. 3, 1942, and rose to #1 on Oct. 31, where it stayed for an amazing 11 weeks.
Christmas Day and Acceptance to the Marine Corps in a letter to Mother:
"First, I want to finish telling you about Christmas Day. I would have given anything to have been with you and Dad Christmas, but that, of course, was impossible. My day was about next best, however. The people I told you about were simply grand. Their name is Hinman. As I told you, Mr. Hinman is a contractor. He has scads of dough as one could well tell by his big beautiful home, cars, servants, etc. Yes, sir - I was really hitting big society. I went to their home that morning and was there until about six that evening at which time Mr. Hinman drove me back to the base. And talk about eat --!! Gosh, they wouldn't even let you slow down. It seems as though we were at the table hours. They gave me some presents and thanked me graciously for spending the day with them. They also made me promise I would come to see them every time I was in town and they told me I was always welcome to one of the guest rooms any and every weekend.
It's amazing how many people are nice to a guy down here. There's another family I spent one Sunday with. A Mr. and Mrs. Flato and children. They have a little boy about six and a little girl about three. They have big home an offered me the guest room any weekend, also. Then this Mr. Flato's father and mother have a big home with an open air dance floor out in the garden in back of the home. I went to a party there one Saturday night and they asked me to go sail-boating with them some weekend. They have two sailboats that are really beauties. I haven't had a chance as yet, however, to accept the ride, but they are continually asking me to join them and I do hope I have the chance before I leave here.
Then there are the Richardson's, too. Mr. Richardson has a huge shoe store here and every time I go to town I drop by and tell him hello. He took me to dinner one Saturday evening and has asked me a half dozen times to spend the weekend with he and his family. Again, that is another invitation. I haven't had a chance to accept. It really helps when people like that are so nice to you. It really helps when you're away from home. I could never take the place of home, of course, but it's the next best thing.
I mentioned I applied for the Marine Air Corps, did I not? Well, I was accepted and immediately upon graduation I will be transferred to the Marines. I believe being with the Marines will have some advantages. I'll have a chance to fly better planes on a whole. You see, the Marines fly the top planes of the Army and the Navy. They fly Navy F4F's, F4U's, etc. -- Army P-40's, A-20-A's, B-24's, and 26's. I, of course, applied for fighters for my advanced training and rather think that's what I'll get. Then maybe after I get with the Marines I'll have a chance to train in the A-20's, too. In the Navy you generally fly only one type of plane all the time while in the Marines -- you may fly different types. And the more types of planes I fly the better off I'll be. I may be carrier based part of the time, but I'll be land based most of the time, which means I'll probably get a chance to fly some bombers now and then. Those A-20-A's, B24 - B26's, etc., are really nice. I hope I get a crack at those as well as the fast fighters."